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B.C. nurse who 'used unreasonable force' reprimanded

The nurse's conduct "did not foster an environment that respects patient dignity," college finds.
A reprimanded B.C. nurse was found not to have respected patient dignity.

B.C.’s College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) has reprimanded a Nanaimo nurse for "using unreasonable force" in dealing with a patient.

In a Jan. 18 decision, a college inquiry committee said registered nurse Jennifer Lafleur was working in triage at the Nanaimo General Hospital’s emergency department on Sept. 25, 2022 when she acted “contrary to expected standards of care in the assessment of a patient's level of consciousness.”

The committee determined the actions amounted to professional misconduct.

“The conduct described above did not foster an environment that respects patient dignity,” the decision said.

The college said Lafleur has voluntarily agreed to a reprimand for the conduct, and will participate in a series of BCCNM practice consultations to discuss the practical application of their learning from recent education.

“Had the registrant not voluntarily engaged in significant personal reflection and proactively completed extensive remedial education that included Indigenous cultural safety and trauma-informed learnings, the inquiry committee would have directed additional terms,” the decision said.

The college is one of 18 regulatory bodies empowered under the Health Professions Act to regulate health professions in B.C. It regulates the practice of four distinct professions: nursing, practical nursing, psychiatric nursing and midwifery. 

Similar legislation in other self-regulated areas such as the legal and notary public professions also allows citizens to know about discipline issues in the public interest.

“The inquiry committee is satisfied that the terms will protect the public,” the college said.